Professor of Biology
Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation
Buffalo, New York 14208
The objective of this program is to develop Canisius
College students into effective advocates for wildlife. They serve as Canisius Ambassadors for
Conservation (CAC) who convey their knowledge and passion about
the natural world to others in a number of different formats. The program promotes
wildlife conservation by stimulating community-wide affection for certain animal species,
and then using those species as anchors to which wider ecological lessons are
|The Student: The students participate in a once-in-a-lifetime experience in
which they explore ecosystems dramatically different from the ones with which they
are accustomed. They obtain the many intellectual benefits of thoroughly exploring a
single topic in a fully interdisciplinary manner. They develop their public speaking
and other communication skills. They acquire proficiency with
technologies such as digital photography, multi-media computer-based presentations,
video production and web design. Through their participation, they
serve at different times as naturalists, public
speakers, teachers, public policy advocates, and computer programmers. These experiences
substantially enhance their resumes while allowing them to explore these lines of
work as potential career paths.
The College: Canisius College students
make presentations to thousands of school children and their accompanying parents
and teachers. An important secondary goal of this project
is for the public to make an association between Canisius College and excellence.
CAC student is trained to serve as an ambassador for the College and the
recruitment of prospective students to Canisius is a component of our outreach activities.
The Community: Locally, our wildlife parks are enhanced by the special
experiences that our CAC team provide to their visitors. These
institutions are also served
by the web presence which we
create for them. Distant schools,
libraries and zoos are able to assess our
CAC programs via our web site, which
is designed to enhance scientific knowledge and a better
understanding of animals. The conservation themes which are stressed help shape public policy regarding our collective stewardship of nature
and natural resources.
Participation is open to all Canisius students and an effort
is made to choose participants from varying
backgrounds. Applicants are weighed on their
commitment to the preservation of nature, their enthusiasm and communication skills, and their ability to handle the
on-site requirements of animal studies in natural habitats.
THE STUDIES ARE INTERDISCIPLINARY
In each year, our study sites serve as anchors
around which we tie a web of
interconnected lessons. These include:
- ecology (the interconnectedness of the biotic community)
- geology (how the physical world provides nutrients, breeding sites,
- meteorology (how short and long term weather conditions affect
animals and their communities)
- anthropological sciences (how the
first peoples in each area interacted with the
- history (how successive human settlements have impacted each ecosystem)
- public policy (how myriad international, federal and
local regulations impact wildlife; how policies that influence decision making and the ways that
competing interests are balanced).
Charismatic animal species are used
to bring out themes about conservation and the interdisciplinary
perspectives that the CAC representatives have learned in their own
studies. The goal is to talk with
the visiting public even more talk at them. Therefore, the presentations made by CAC are interactive.
The idea is to stimulate
a give-and-take exchange that
taps each visitors interest in the animals they are seeing,
and in this way coax them toward a more pro-conservation life style.
A POSITIVE MESSAGE
A major goal of the CAC approach is to
keep the message positive. We want to resist the view that
the ecology of the world is going down the drain and that the future earth will
be terrible place. We provide honest appraisals of the challenges
we face. But we combine
discussions of those challenges
with examples of positive
conservation success stories. We do this because we truly feel that good people
can make a positive difference in the world, and that there are plenty of
reasons to be positive about the future of wildlife on our planet.
If you are a Canisius student who is
enthusiastic about wildlife and you are looking for a way to make a
positive contribution, please consider to explore the various pages on the CAC tab above.
Then I will look forward to your application(s)!!